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Our people

$342 MILLIONSpend on training and development of employees

94,000Number of people employed

1,074Number of assessments of suppliers against Shell Supplier Principles

Our people are vital to the implementation of our business strategy. Shell recruits, trains and rewards employees to build business capabilities. This ensures our businesses are well resourced and enhances employee performance and engagement levels.

We have 94,000 employees in more than 70 countries, with just under 40% in countries outside of Europe and North America. To implement our strategy and growth plans for the future, we recruited around 1,200 graduates and about 2,000 experienced professionals in 2014. The majority were educated in technical disciplines. More than 30% of our graduate recruits came from universities outside of Europe and the Americas.

Dedicated managers are employed to ensure robust resourcing and succession planning for our critical positions and to create development opportunities for our employees. The salaries we pay reflect market conditions in the countries where employees are based and the high level of skill and experience needed. We regularly review comparative remuneration for men and women in selected countries to ensure that we remain competitive.

Shell manages the effects on people of business changes as consistently as possible. Affected employees are treated respectfully and processes are transparent. They are supported in their search for alternative employment as appropriate by country law and policy. We provide flexible working practices wherever necessary and reasonably possible. Our employees are encouraged to take part in social responsibility projects and employee interest networks.

Employee communication and involvement

Dialogue between management and employees is embedded in our work practices, and we strive to maintain healthy employee relations. Dialogue can take place directly and, where appropriate, through employee councils or trade unions. On a quarterly basis, senior management briefs employees on Shell’s operational and financial results through various channels. The Shell People Survey is one of the principal tools used to measure employee views on a range of topics including employee engagement and the degree of affiliation and commitment to Shell. The average employee engagement score in 2014 was 80% favourable, as it was in 2013, and 5% unfavourable.

We promote confidential expression of views about our processes and practices. We have multiple channels in a choice of different languages in place for employees to report, confidentially and anonymously, breaches of the Shell General Business Principles or our Code of Conduct, or other concerns. These include a global telephone helpline and a dedicated website in addition to channels in each country.

Diversity and inclusion

The Shell culture embraces diversity and fosters inclusion. By embedding these principles in our operations, we have a better understanding of the needs of our varied customers, partners and stakeholders throughout the world, and we benefit from a wider talent pool. We provide equal opportunity in recruitment, career development, promotion, training and reward for all employees regardless of colour, ethnicity or physical ability. Where possible, we make reasonable adjustments in job design and provide appropriate training for employees who declare a disability.

We actively monitor representation of women and local nationals in senior leadership positions, and have talent-development processes to support us in delivering more diverse representation. The proportion of women in senior leadership positions was 18.2% in 2014 compared with 17.2% in 2013.

With effect from 2014, Shell revised its senior local national representation metric to ensure it adequately takes into account senior local nationals working in their base countries and overseas. In 20 selected key business countries, we began measuring local national coverage. This is calculated for each of the selected countries by measuring the percentage of senior nationals employed in the group compared with the number of senior positions existing in their home country. The reporting of local national coverage is split into two categories – greater than 80% (12 countries in 2014) and less than 80% (eight countries in 2014): numbers are unchanged in comparison with 2013.

Senior leaders actively engage in diversity and inclusion networks, internally and externally, and we have numerous active employee interest networks representing different communities within the organisation. Our annual Shell People Survey also measures employees’ views on the inclusiveness of their workplace. In 2014, 71% felt positive about this, up 1% from 2013 and 11% felt negatively about inclusion in the workplace, the same as in 2013.

Training and development

We continue to invest in developing the skills of our employees and joint venture partners. In 2014, we invested over $342 million in training and development. We provided more than 617,000 training days to our employees and some of our joint venture partners. This included training more than 4,000 employees in leadership skills. Our continued focus remains on building technical and commercial capability and safety-critical competencies. Another focus area is tailored training for social performance professionals including risk areas such as cultural heritage, land and resettlement and indigenous peoples. In 2014, the number of professionals to attend these trainings was 481 (441 in 2013).

Code of conduct violations

Shell employees and contractors working for Shell must abide by our Code of Conduct. In 2014, 267 violations of the Code of Conduct were reported (181 in 2013; 209 in 2012). As a result, we dismissed or terminated the contracts of 118 employees and contractors (63 in 2013; 93 in 2012).


The percentage of armed security used has increased since 2010 due to an increase in geopolitical volatility around the globe especially in the Middle East. To address the increasing threat from terrorism, the oil and gas industry and governments are making efforts to bolster security at critical oil and gas national infrastructure locations. This followed an incident with fatalities at a gas facility (unrelated to Shell) in Algeria in 2013.